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Godolphin girl wins 2015 Poetry by Heart competition

Published on isbi School News dated Monday 9th of February 2015

Lucy Shelley, a Fifth Year student from Godolphin School, has been crowned the Wiltshire 'Poetry by Heart' Champion 2015 after victory at the county finals of the prestigious national poetry competition.

Following an outstanding performance at the National Poetry Day event held last October in the Godolphin School's Blackledge Theatre, Lucy initially competed in the schools' round of the competition, choosing one pre-1914 poem and one post-1914 poem from the Poetry by Heart anthology to learn and recite. Her performance conveyed a deep understanding of the poems and a personal engagement with their meanings, impressing the judges and securing first place despite some highly commendable opposition.

Having been chosen as the School Champion, she then qualified for the county finals held at Trowbridge's Arc Theatre last Friday. For this she had to recite three poems, including an additional World War One poem chosen from the competition's special commemorative online anthology. Students from schools all over the county competed for the sought after title of Poetry by Heart Wiltshire Champion and the wonderful opportunity to go on to represent the county at the regional and national finals held at Cambridge University's Homerton College in March.

Lucy's performances of The Witch by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge, How to Kill by Keith Douglas and The Stretcher Bearer by Tommy Crawford were astonishing. Heart-breaking, hypnotic, distressing, shocking; through her powerful and varied delivery, Lucy fulfilled all criteria of articulation, difficulty, understanding, accuracy and overall performance to win the competition, beating some extremely fierce competition and receiving high praise from the judges.

She was presented with two poetry anthologies as prizes and an all-expenses paid trip to Cambridge where she will stay at Homerton College. There she will meet the competition's founder and former poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, and many other of this country's highly respected contemporary poets, as well as being given the opportunity to perform her chosen poems again.

Mr Ryan-East, Head of English at Godolphin, would like to thank Mrs Melanie Ferris who helped to support Lucy as she prepared for the county finals, and members of the English Department for helping to judge the school round of the competition. Above all, the School would like to congratulate Lucy and wish her the very best of luck in Cambridge next month!
Grace Education